On Thursday, September 11, 2014, the Career Placement Committee, Young Lawyers Committee, and Membership Committee hosted Part I of the “Getting on Track” Series: Getting on the Partnership Track at Dechert LLP. Attendees were reminded of the reality that becoming partner is much more than working hard, being responsive, and getting things right. The candid roundtable discussion addressed the political landscape of the partner-track for Asian Pacific Americans, the value of business-building, and judgment calls a person has to make when he or she prioritizes his or her legal career. 

To the crowd’s delight, with about 30 people in attendance, Board Director Steve Chung (Vice President, NBCUniversal Media LLC) humorously and expertly moderated four unique and talented panelists: Terrence Shen, Corporate Partner, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; Litigation Committee Co-Chair Concepcion Montoya, Litigation Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP; Board Director Karen Lim, IP Partner, Fross, Zelnick, Lehrman & Zissu, PC; and Board Director and Past President Robert Leung, Corporate Partner, Boies, Schiller, & Flexner LLP.

The panelists stressed the importance of not only doing near-perfect work but also developing the soft skills that make clients, bosses, and co-workers trust you. Panelists even explored “the secret room where all the decisions are made” – that is to say they acknowledged that when only 16.5% of partners are female and only 5.4% are minority, it is imperative to have allies and advocates that will make the case for why you in particular stand out among associates. Time spent networking, building relationships, writing articles, and having lunch with people is just as necessary in a lawyer’s career as time spent late in the office on getting all your work done. APA attorneys facing the stereotype “they’re hard workers, but they’re not leaders” need to recognize rather than ignore the unconscious biases that may hold them back.

Soon after the engaging panel, attendees put their networking skills into practice asking questions, sharing experiences, and enjoying a refreshing beer or two at Windfall Lounge.

We extend our deepest thanks to Career Placement Committee Co-Chair Marianne Chow for organizing this event, moderator Steve Chung for leading the discussion, panelists Connie, Rob, Karen, and Terry for sharing their experience and insight, Dechert LLP for hosting, and all those who attended.

Those interested in taking the next step of their career with the help of the Career Placement Committee should complete the Intake Form. Those interested in becoming active in AABANY should feel to reach out to any of our Committee Chairs; information available on our website. Stay tuned for the next part of the Getting on Track Series!